Miến Xào Cua – Vietnamese Glass Noodle Stir-fry with Crab


My folks visited us for the first time since Pierre and I married and we moved into our new place. It was also their first visit to Ann Arbor and they were treated to some unusually warm weather and lovely fall colors.




At home, my mom’s kitchen is her domain (she’s a fabulous cook with Martin Yan-like dexterity and knife skills). Thus, the prospect of me (the slowest, Asian food chopper ever) preparing and cooking food for us all was daunting, if not slightly amusing.




I managed to get by fairly well, if I don’t say so myself. So I don’t have fastah-fingahs. But I can make a mean stir-fry when I want. (Pun is absolutely intended). Miến Xào Cua is a light, delicious dish that I enjoy having for lunch or as part of a dinner meal. You can purchase good-quality lump crab meat or steam a fresh crab as we did, and pick apart the meat.

I used baby leeks instead of shallots or green onions this time as I love the color and subtle onion flavor they lend to the dish.


INGREDIENTS: (2-4 servings)

  • 2 bundles of miến (glass noodles), soaked in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes
  • 1 cup of black “wood-ear” mushrooms, soaked in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of baby leeks, thoroughly cleaned and thinly sliced on the bias (discard the tough green tops, or save it for use in making stock)
  • 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper
  • meat from 1 whole, steamed crab (approx. 1 cup)
  • crab tomalley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbl. fish sauce + more to taste
  • fresh ground pepper
  • oil, for cooking


  • In a colander or sieve, drain the glass noodles, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the egg, tomalley and fish sauce, set aside.
  • In a wok or deep skillet heated to med-high, add about 1-2 Tbl. of oil.
  • Stir in the leeks and cook until slightly translucent, approx.2-3 minutes
  • Next, add the red bell pepper and mushrooms and stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes
  • Now, add the glass noodles and stir-fry 1-2 minutes. The noodles should be translucent.
  • Pour the egg + tomalley mixture over the noodles and quickly stir fry until the eggs are cooked, between 2-4 minutes.
  • Gently fold the crab meat into the noodles and combine.
  • Serve warm.

Bon appétit!


10 Responses to “Miến Xào Cua – Vietnamese Glass Noodle Stir-fry with Crab”

  1. Jen Says:

    Mmmm! This is looks absolutely delicious. I have never stir-fried bean thread noodles that thin before (are they bean thread?). I’ve done the broad bean thread noodles before (yum too). My grandma says not to buy ones made in China, that they fall apart. Do you have a favorite brand?

  2. Jen Says:

    Sorry – This looks absolutely delicious. I am typing like a drunk person today and I haven’t had a drink in days… 😦

  3. Natalie Says:

    You must have made your mom very proud with your stir-fry. What a scrumptious feast! I love the simplicity of this dish, fewer ingredients – nothing to overwhelm the delicate flavor of fresh crab.

    I’m also wondering about the noodles you used – I’m always lost in the Asian market when I try to pick up noodles. I’m used to buying shirataki noodles – are glass noodles similar to shirataki?

  4. Mandy Says:

    this looks so yummy. I need to get some glass noodle to make this. 🙂

  5. chocolateshavings Says:

    That looks amazing! Any idea of what to use if I can’t find crab?

  6. Rose Says:

    I love the combination of noodles, crab meat and fresh vegetables. Great idea of using leeks instead of green onions. It is sweeter and imagine would go perfectly with the crab meat.
    Enjoy your parents visit. I am glad I’ve found your blog.
    And we are neighbours? That’s fantastic.

  7. Ann Says:

    I want some! Love your photos and can’t wait to dig deeper into your blog (dropped by after seeing your post about blogs at serious eats).

  8. holybasil Says:

    Salut tout le monde!
    Thanks for your lovely comments!

    Jen, I can never find a reliable brand around here – so I just pick the higher-priced glass noodles (they often come wrapped in plastic and hot-pink plastic mesh). I’ll raise a glass to you when I finally get a drink around here!

    I’m not familiar with shirataki noodles – but I don’t think glass noodles are the same. They are sometimes labeled “bean thread” noodles also. They are very fine and are usually sold in a bag with 8 or so small dry bundles.

    I might use shrimp or lobster – if you’re feeling extravagant – in place of the crab. Or you can make it vegetarian too. That would be nice also.

  9. Tartelette Says:

    One of my favorite salads to get when I would visit my brother in the 13th in Paris. I lived in the suburbs and could find decent glass noodle salad. I am so excited that you posted this!

  10. Marian Says:


    Will you ask your mom about a recipe even simpler with just the rice noodle stir-fry and pork and if she know of it , pass it on to me. It is our family favorite at a local restaurant that recently closed, and I am having no luck searching for this recipe. It contains pepper, green onion, rice noodle, and a meat thinly sliced (pork or chicken). Really simple ingredients; but the right combination is very important, I’m sure. Just curious if she might know with her expertise.

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